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Nevada Public Utilities Commission Retaliates Over Americans With Disabilities Act Compliance.
From:
National Toxic Encephalopathy Foundation National Toxic Encephalopathy Foundation
Las Vegas, NV
Wednesday, May 14, 2014

 

 

          When required to provide accommodations under the Americans for Disability Act (ADA), the Nevada Public Utilities Commission (PUC) revised their public comment protocol as a 'punishment.'

          The PUC has taken retaliatory action for these challenges by subsequently suppressing public speech at its agenda meetings. If a person is the designated representative for more than one entity, any one person is now precluded from appearing on behalf of more than one individual entity, reducing the allowable speaking time to just two minutes. In the preceding two years, the PUC had no problem when one person represented associated entities.

Notification from the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada Agenda Notices Modified Language (Admin Agenda List)

Fri, May 9, 2014 12:48 pm

To Undisclosed recipients:

To Whom It May Concern:   

Please be advised that effective immediately, the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada will replace the two public comment language sections currently utilized in our agenda notices with the modified language set forth below. 

(EXPLANATION – Matter in italics is new; matter in brackets [omitted material] is material to be omitted.)

1st Public Comment Period:

Pursuant to NRS 241.020 a period of public comment will be allowed at the beginning of the meeting before any items on which action may be taken are heard by the Commission and again before the adjournment of the meeting. In order to conduct this meeting in an orderly, efficient and dignified manner, public comment shall be limited to two (2) minutes per [person] speaker, without regard to the number of entities or affiliations represented by the speaker, and directed to the Commission as a whole through the Chairman.  Prepared comments or documentations that exceed the two (2) minute comment period may be introduced into the written record upon request.  Comments made during this comment period will be restricted to topics that pertain to items on the agenda. Comments may be prohibited if they become disruptive to the meeting by becoming irrelevant, repetitious, offensive, inflammatory or amounting to personal attacks and interfering with the rights of other speakers. No action may be taken on a matter raised under this item of the agenda until the matter itself has been specifically included on an agenda as an item upon which action may be taken. 

In accordance with NRS 241.030, the Commission reserves the right to remove any person who willfully disrupts a meeting by disorderly conduct.

2nd Public Comment Period:

Pursuant to NRS 241.020 a period of public comment will be allowed at the beginning of the meeting before any items on which action may be taken are heard by the Commission and again before the adjournment of the meeting. In order to conduct this meeting in an orderly, efficient and dignified manner, public comment shall be limited to two (2) minutes per [person] speaker, without regard to the number of entities or affiliations represented by the speaker, and directed to the Commission as a whole through the Chairman. Prepared comments or documentations that exceed the two (2) minute comment period may be introduced into the written record upon request.  Comments during this comment period may address any topic jurisdictional to the Commission. Comments may be prohibited if they become disruptive to the meeting by becoming irrelevant, repetitious, offensive, inflammatory or amounting to personal attacks and interfering with the rights of other speakers. No action may be taken on a matter raised under this item of the agenda until the matter itself has been specifically included on an agenda as an item upon which action may be taken.

In accordance with NRS 241.030, the Commission reserves the right to remove any person who willfully disrupts a meeting by disorderly conduct. 

Thank you for your cooperation.  

Breanne Potter

Public Utilities Commission of Nevada

          As a public entity the PUC is required by statute to conform with the state's open meeting law.

          Although the PUC was asked for reasonable accommodations, which it had already complied with on a limited basis, its General Counsel obstinately repudiated the ADA. When notified it was mandated to follow federal regulations regarding the ADA because of its size and as a federal funding recipient, the PUC refused.

          The PUC's General Counsel, Carolyn Tanner, a former employee of the state Attorney General's Office, initially denied any accommodations.Then, the PUC reversed its original denial and suggested some accommodations.

          Nevada's Attorney General's Office has been notified of this retaliatory action by the PUC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

News Media Interview Contact
Name: Angel De Fazio, BSAT
Title: President
Group: NTEF
Dateline: Las Vegas, NV United States
Direct Phone: 702.490.9677
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